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Fortune's Children: The Fall of the…

Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt

by Arthur T. Vanderbilt, II

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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A sad and telling story of the fall of a family. Those who currently strive to be in the 1% of wealth should read it as a cautionary tale. Greed and excess are not virtues. ( )
  Pat_Gibson | May 28, 2017 |
couldn't get past the first 10 % ( )
  cjordan916 | Jul 31, 2016 |
Lisette Lecat
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
By fair means and foul, Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt built a fortune of $105 million in the mid-nineteenth century. One hundred years later, most of that fortune was gone.

In Fortune's Children, Arthur T. Vanderbilt II paints a vivid portrait of his ancestors. The Commodore is one of the most important capitalists this country has ever produced, and with the marriage of his great-granddaughter to the Duke of Marlborough, this book will make excellent reading for any fan of Downton Abbey.

The author states that the fortune dissipated quickly because the Commodore was the first and only Vanderbilt who was obsessed with making money. The Vanderbilt men who followed were obsessed with keeping it. You need both to maintain those bank balances. Some-- like Alva Belmont Vanderbilt-- were obsessed with spending it to ram their way into New York's high society. Alva built some of the largest and most ostentatious homes ever to grace these shores, and the houses' interiors were even more lavish than their exteriors. Each of the author's ancestors is portrayed with wit and sorrow, which can often happen with the "advantage" of hindsight.

This is an absorbing tale of greed, snobbery, and profligacy that kept me fascinated from first page to last. If this is your cup of tea, I urge you to pour yourself some. ( )
  cathyskye | Mar 10, 2016 |
This was a first rate biography of one of the wealthiest American families, the Vanderbilts. Written by a member of the family, this book in no way shows any bias towards them. It presents the details of the accumulation of their wealth and the subsequent spending of it in a factual and extremely interesting way. The family is full of real characters and this book showcases each in an entirely readable way. A good book for those interested in the Gilded Age. ( )
  briandrewz | Sep 28, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vanderbilt, Arthur T., IIprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawlor, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vanderbilt II, Arthur T.Authorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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An account of a bygone world of privilege, money, power, and self indulgence set in monumental mansions and country estates.

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